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Thanks to the rise of online shopping, Cyber Monday is now arguably just as big a cultural institution as its cousin, Black Friday. And it's only getting bigger: with Black Friday online sales topping $1bn for the first time ever, analysts are predicting that when retailers are done counting, this year's Cyber Monday may produce more than $1.5bn in sales.
Naturally, that has companies looking to cash in. But the deals aren't just limited to traditional holiday shopping fare like clothing.
Mobile couponing has been gaining more and more speed over the last year. According to a recent eMarketer study, rising food and gas prices in the United States has lead 74% of US consumers to use more coupons this year.
In particular, the use of mobile coupon is on the rise: mobile coupons or app usage increased by over 100% in 2011, and 100% again in 2012. Furthermore, 79% of US internet users were using more mobile coupons this year—on par with print coupons and circulars.
Mobile coupling is great, but wouldn't it be even better if you could poll your mobile audience? Ask users 'how many times have you purchased this product?' and 'how did you first hear of this product?', etc. Want to have the consumer watch a video about your brand? For many brands, awareness is key - couponing is only one piece of the puzzle.
Deals have always been popular, but thanks in large part to the Great Recession, many consumers have rediscovered their love for coupons.
Technology, of course, is playing an increasingly prominent role in the coupon ecosystem, but what does that really look like? How many consumers have upped their use of coupons? What digital channels are most popular for coupon-seekers? And what actions would consumers take for a 25% off coupon?
Before Ron Johnson joined department store giant J.C. Penney as CEO in 2011, he was the SVP of Retail Operations at Apple Inc., where he was responsible for developing the Apple Store and its Genius Bar.
Apple's retail strategy was a major contributor to Appl'e's mind-bending success over the past decade, and for his seven-plus years of work, Johnson was handsomly rewarded.
Needless to say, given Johnson's accomplishments at Apple, J.C. Penney shareholders had high hopes for what he might do for the century-old retailer.
Earlier this year, Johnson unveiled his bold vision: radically alter J.C. Penney's pricing strategy.
Instead of using coupons and discounts, something the department store had done extensively for years, J.C. Penney would offer "Every Day", "Monthly Value" and "Best Price" prices on its merchandise. And instead of selling items for $x.99, it would use round numbers.
Thanks to supportive venture capitalists with deep pockets, some of the most prominent startups in recent years have been able to put off the 'making money' part of creating a new business.
But no business can survive forever without a revenue model, and for Foursquare, it looks like it's time to make money.
American Express is offering its customers the chance to earn money off a selection of goods by tweeting special offer hashtags from retailers.
Amex cardholders in the US can connect their account to their Twitter profile, and a coupon will be 'loaded' onto the card if they compose a tweet including one of the hashtags.
When the customer redeems an offer, the discount will be applied within their next card statement.
Retailers including Best Buy, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market and H&M have already signed up to the programme, which is built around American Express' Smart Offer APIs.
Marketers know that smart phones and tablets are increasingly part of the "path to purchase" for many consumers, but how big a role did they play in purchasing decisions this past holiday season?
According to Google, a big one.
Everybody loves a deal, even if selling them is a tougher business than it might seem.
But if you're the world's largest digital purveyor of deals, how do you fend off competition and reach more consumers? If you're Groupon, you turn to the physical world.
There are a lot of skeptics when it comes to whether merchants should use group buying sites like Groupon.
For good reason too: there are enough horror stories to demonstrate that heavy discounting and lots of customers can be a really, really bad combination.
But the viability of group buying sites themselves is increasingly called into question. Groupon, the 800 pound gorilla of the space, went public last year, giving everyone a glimpse into is finances. Finances which showed lots of revenue but heavy losses.
Businesses may be tiring of services like Groupon, and overaggressive retailers may have bargained themselves into a less profitable holiday shopping season, but one thing is for sure: consumers love discounts.
Who can blame them? The global economy nearly collapsed in 2008, and it's been tough since then. Companies eager to separate consumers from their hard-earned dollars have often had little choice but to lure customers in with prices too hard to pass up.
Quick: what are some of the best way to acquire loyal customers? If you look around online, you might draw the conclusion that providing discounts makes the list.
Billions upon billions of dollars worth of coupons are distributed by brands each year, and increasingly couponing is moving to the web, where bargain-loving consumers have more power than ever to seek out the very best deals available.
Ritesh Patel is renowned as a marketer specializing in pharma. But today, we ask him about the lessons in digital marketing an up-market Indian restaurant.